When the Samsung Galaxy S5 was announced, details emerged about Spritz -- a speed-reading feature that comes built-in to some apps on the phone. Spritz uses rapid serial visual presentation, or RSVP, to display words one after another using a single focal point. The company calls this point the optimal recognition point, or ORP.
The technology isn't exactly new -- it dates back to the 1970s -- and it was even used in software for last decade's phones. In 2005 CNET covered a demo version of BuddyBuzz, mobile software that could display one word at a time on your phone's tiny screen, making message reading a more pleasant experience.
This app, by BaseTIS SL, is free with a premium upgrade option offered as an in-app purchase of 99 cents. Once installed, highlight text in an app that allows sharing and then choose A Faster Reader from the pop-up menu. A small window will appear above the text, and immediately starts displaying the words one-by-one. In order to display the words faster, you'll have to upgrade, as the free version only supports up to 300 wpm. The premium version also offers different color themes and a progress bar.
In this app, the same sharing feature is used to start speed-reading a piece of text. The display area for the one-by-one word delivery is actually along the top of the screen. A full-text version of what you're speed reading appears under the flashing words, and highlights each one as it appears above. This may be convenient or annoying, depending on your reading preferences.
If you're not looking to share text from an app on your phone and want to open local files instead, then this speed reading app by P. Garrison is for you. The app is free, but also offers a donation version if you're feeling generous. Right now Speed Reader offers support for TXT, PDF, EPUB, HTML, and XML files. There are several settings that appear when you open the app including: custom color theme selection, words per minute, and number of words to show at one time. To open a file, click the Browse button and locate it on your Android device. One major drawback to this app is that you can't see where you are in the text, and starting from a specific point is very difficult.
There's a great deal of contradicting research to be found on speed reading and comprehension capabilities, so it's best to decide whether it works for you personally. What do you think of these apps? Or speed reading in general? Share your thoughts in the comments.